Metro-North has begun testing video cameras on Harlem and Hudson line train cars in hopes of improving the safety and security of commuters and employees.
The initiative—implemented in response to a 2014 recommendation from the National Transportation Safety Board—will monitor track and wayside activities, as well as the engineer’s control room via inward- and outward-facing cameras.
The suggestion followed December 2013’s fatal Spuyten Duyvil derailment, which left four people dead and more than 70 injured after the train’s engineer fell asleep, steering the Manhattan-bound into dangerous a curve at 82 miles per hour.
The railroad will also install passenger area cameras to “aid investigations after accidents and other incidents, as well as deter behaviors that could affect safe train operations,” according to a statement released yesterday.
While the extra surveillance may spark privacy concerns, the devices will not record audio, and all trains fitted with cameras will have accompanying signage to inform customers of their presence.
Once the test period concludes, Metro-North will finalize a camera design for the remaining trains. They anticipate regular production and installation to begin later this year. Calls to Metro-North for comment were not returned by press time.
Do these sound like reasonable safety/security measures, or is it an infringement on privacy? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.